Breast Uplift

Introduction
Following child birth, weight loss or as part of the ageing process the breasts can droop as the skin loses its elasticity combined with some loss of volume. The aim of a mastopexy or “breast uplift” is to make the breasts more shapely and better supported with a youthful and pert appearance whilst repositioning the nipple at its former height.

There are many different techniques of breast uplift and so the position of the resulting scars may vary a little. There is always a circular scar around the nipple and a second vertical scar running from the lower most point of the nipple to the fold beneath the breast. In most techniques there is also a horizontal scar in the fold beneath the breasts. The horizontal scar can usually be kept quite short but its length does vary depending on the original size of the breasts. Some techniques of breast uplift avoid the horizontal scar altogether and Mr Grover will advise you if you are suitable for this at your consultation.

Breast uplift is certainly NOT an operation where one size fits all and Mr Grover provides a very individual approach to try and achieve a bespoke result for each patient. He is particularly known for his artistic approach to achieving a natural look and has lectured on the importance of an artistic element to surgical technique and how this can improve surgical outcome at the Louvre in Paris. He will also be honest in informing you if he feels you are not a good candidate for surgery and carefully explain why this is so.

Before and after photos of patient operated on by Rajiv Grover

How do I prepare for surgery?
Where will my surgery be performed?
What type of anaesthetic will be used?
What does the operation involve?
How long will the surgery take?
Is it painful?
What can I expect after the surgery?
What are the scars like?
What are the risks?
Summary

How do I prepare for surgery?
It is important to avoid taking any Aspirin or products containing Aspirin for 2 weeks either side of the operation since Aspirin has an adverse effect on bruising. The same is true for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Brufen and Nurofen). If you are a smoker it is absolutely imperative that you to stop for 4 weeks before surgery and for 2 weeks afterwards so as not to restrict the circulation to the skin. This restriction applies to all forms of nicotine including patches, inhalers and nicotine chewing gum! While making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days at home, if needed.

Where will my surgery be performed?
The surgery is performed at the King Edward VII Hospital in central London where Mr Grover works as a Consultant in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery. You will usually be admitted on the day of surgery, and stay overnight.

What type of anaesthetic will be used?
Breast uplift surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic, so you'll sleep through the entire operation.

Before and after photos of patient operated on by Rajiv Grover

What does the operation involve?
Before going down to the operating theatre, Mr. Grover will come and make some markings on you in order to determine the exact position and size of your new breasts. During the operation excess skin is then removed, and the nipples and remaining breast tissues are re-shaped in accordance with the preoperative markings. Some of the nerve supply to the nipple is preserved in order to provide sensation to this area following surgery. The suture line is situated around the nipple in its new position, and extends vertically downwards to the under-breast crease. At this point, depending on the technique used, the scar may end or alternatively may extend into the breast crease towards either side. Mr. Grover will be able to discuss this with you at the time of your consultation. Finally a firm bandage dressing is applied over the suture line.

How long will the surgery take?
The length of your operation depends on the extent of the procedure. On average this will take between two and about two and a half hours.

Before and after photos of patient operated on by Rajiv Grover

Is it painful?
Remarkably, pain after breast uplift is not usually a problem. It is carefully controlled by pain killers in the first few hours following surgery and subsequently with a mild analgesic (pain killer) such as paracetamol or codeine as necessary.

What can I expect after the Surgery?
Although breast uplift is not a painful operation there is some soreness and this can be reduced by wearing a supportive (non under-wired) bra 24 hours a day from the morning after surgery over the dressings to provide extra support. It is important that you have some help at home for the first week as lifting will be uncomfortable. Mr Grover will see you at a week after surgery to remove stitches around your nipple and again at two weeks to remove the remaining breast stitches. Following this you will still need to wear the supportive bra day and night for another month in order to support the breasts as much as possible whilst they achieve their final stable shape

For most occupations 14 days is necessary off work and it may be uncomfortable to drive for the first 10 days. One month is advised before strenuous exercise is pursued and six weeks before aerobics. Mr Grover will advise you on methods to improve your scars during your recovery period.

What are the scars like?
There are many different techniques of breast uplift and so the position of the resulting scars may vary a little. There is always a circular scar around the nipple and a second vertical scar running from the lower most point of the nipple to the fold beneath the breast. In most techniques there is also a horizontal scar in the fold beneath the breasts. The horizontal scar can usually be kept quite short but its length does vary depending on the original size of the breasts. Some techniques of breast uplift avoid the horizontal scar altogether and Mr Grover will advise you if you are suitable for this at your consultation. Breast scars, like others on the body, are noticeable when they are new but usually fade to become pale and flat although this may take 9 to 12 months in some instances.

Before and after photos of patient operated on by Rajiv Grover

What are the risks?
Complications after breast uplift surgery are not common but when they occur they are mostly a temporary nuisance rather than having a long term consequence. Mr Grover will do everything possible to minimize your risk. He has a strong interest in improving safety and is responsible for the UK National Audit of Cosmetic Surgery & Safety for the Royal College of Surgeons

  • Excessive internal bruising (haematoma) occasionally occurs and may require removing some stitches to wash out the bruising from beneath the skin. This has no effect on the long term outcome of surgery.
  • Alteration in nipple sensation is relatively common in the short term with patients experiencing decreased or increased sensitivity which can persist for 2-3 months. In the vast majority of patients this improves as the operation is designed to preserve some nerve supply which allows sensation to return.
  • Wound healing is usually quick and uneventful but very occasionally the junction of the "T" scar underneath the breast may take slightly longer to heal than the rest of the stitch lines.
  • Very rarely there may be loss of a small amount of the skin margin of the areola of the nipple. This usually only occurs in patients who are heavy smokers.

Summary
Breast uplift is usually an extremely successful procedure from the patient's point of view. It improves the shape of the breasts as well as increasing comfort. From the perspective of patient satisfaction it is amongst the most reliable of all cosmetic surgical procedures.

Procedure time2 hours
General / Local anaestheticGeneral
No. nights in hospital1 -2 night
Time off work2 weeks
Sensitivity period2-4 weeks
Back to normality / sports4-6 weeks

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